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Council Report: City approves art plan, but wants faster execution

🕐 2 min read


Few people appreciate art like Councilman Brian Byrd. Ironically, he developed that appreciation elsewhere, but now he couldn’t be happier that his home town is leading the way when it comes to promoting art.

“When I was 22 years old and working in the Soviet Union, I get off the bus. It was gray cinder block all around,” he recalled. “It was then that I really began to appreciate local artists and what they do.”

As part of continuing the city’s strong relationship with the art world, the city council on Nov. 6 adopted the City of Fort Worth Public Art Annual Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2019.

The council also approved designated public art funds of $1.57 million, subject to subsequent council authorization of an artwork commission contract for each public art project included in the annual work plan.

In addition, council authorized renewal of a professional management services agreement with the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County Inc. to manage the Fort Worth Public Art Program for fiscal year 2019.

The annual work plan includes projects in progress and new ones previously approved by city council in funding source-specific public art plans from past bond and other programs.

A few council members expressed their desire to see some projects completed in a more timely fashion. District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan noted that some of the projects include funding from bond programs in 2004 and 2007.

“We would not accept that in execution of our street program,” he said. “We need to pay special attention to getting these programs completed and executed. These are public dollars.”

District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens added that the public has yet to see the I-30 Gateway Project.

“I do support it, but this has got to change,” she said.

Public art projects follow the guidelines contained in the Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan Update of Oct. 17, 2017 adopted by the council. Individual council members are directly involved with project planning, artist selection and design review for public art projects in their districts. But city council as a whole authorizes all artwork commission contracts.

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